“Scandal” Recap: “Till Death Do Us Part”
On Thursday’s “Scandal,” Olivia tried to stop Jake and Papa Pope’s master plan. Here are the most important things to know about “Till Death Do Us Part,” the 18th episode of season 5.
The show opened with a flashback to Jake’s childhood, showing he grew up in an abusive home where his father molested his sister. In the present, Olivia was still hiding out at Papa Pope’s, where Jake told her to stop “beating yourself up” about murdering Andrew weeks prior. And thanks to him and Fitz, no one was investigating the death. Liv only showed a reaction, however, when she was told Jake and Vanessa’s wedding had been moved up to that weekend.
Another flashback showed a beaten Jake in a military prison, meeting Papa Pope for the first time and getting invited to join an unofficial “unit” as Jake Ballard, not Pete Harris. With the alternate prospect of a dishonorable discharge from the Navy and an assault charge, he chose to become Papa Pope’s “bitch.” The next time jump had Jake and Charlie in training together, and he was beaten by Papa Pope for acting out.
Jake ultimately spent a month in an isolation “hole,” after which Papa Pope taunted him about finding “comfort in darkness” and, at 17, not stopping his sister from getting raped by their dad. Jake started to flip when Papa Pope said his sister killed herself after aborting his nephew, but Rowan promised that going forward, unlike his real father, he would “protect” him and be his “family.” With that, Jake broke down in tears.
Some time later, Papa Pope congratulated Jake on being ready to officially join B613 and asked if he “wanted” this life or “preferred normal.” Jake actually walked out, leaving his mentor stunned. He then returned to his childhood home… and killed his father. Jake went back to Papa Pope after, now truly ready to join forces.
Finally leaving her dad’s home, Olivia met up with Quinn and Huck, saying, “They’re buying the entire act.” The OPA investigation showed that 600 people were invited to the nuptials, but Liv wasn’t sure why her dad was orchestrating a high-profile affair. She vowed to exploit Jake’s “weakness” to find out more info… her.
Pretending to be too distraught to attend a pre-wedding party at the White House, Liv was comforted by Jake, who then had a fight with Vanessa about his connection to her. At the engagement party, Jake and Fitz had an awkward chat about Liv and their respective love lives. When he returned home, a seemingly drunk Olivia enticed him to drink with her, before saying she knows Papa Pope is making him marry Vanessa as part of a “plan” bigger than siphoning money.
“You don’t really love her,” Liv taunted, and he ultimately confessed it himself. Ditching the drunk act, she demanded to know what was really going on. Jake finally admitted: Papa Pope was putting him on Edison’s ticket as his VP running mate, and the Vanessa marriage was designed to aid the campaign. He then said, despite everything, he was still in love with her (Liv). The emotional confrontation culminated in one of their passionate hookups.
The next morning, Jake asked her, “What now?” Liv said she didn’t know how they break away from her dad, and they agreed to “pretend like last night never ended for a bit.” He later told her straight out, “I don’t want to marry Vanessa. I want to be with you.” Liv nodded that she wanted to be with him, too, sparking another makeout session.
At a strategy session with Quinn and Huck, Jake and Liv brainstormed on what to do with the clock ticking down to the wedding the following day. They agreed he would leave Vanessa at the altar, therefore making him anything but a respectable political candidate. Liv insisted to Huck that she’s “ready to be happy,” and assured him she knows what she’s doing.
But at the ceremony, Papa Pope confronted Olivia over her plan and urged her to tell Jake she changed her mind. “If this wedding does not go forward, I will slit his throat,” he warned, even promising to do so anyway if Jake finds out he put her up to breaking his heart. “I rather he be dead than mediocre. I’ve already lost a daughter. To hell if I will let what happened to you happen to my son. A wedding or a funeral? The choice is yours.”
In the episode’s final minutes, Liv told Jake, “I can’t do this… be with you.” He, of course, knew Papa Pope “got” to her, but she insisted this “can’t be fixed.” She then berated him, saying how he’s just an “escape” and not “good enough” for her. “You’re scared,” he told her, which she refuted, calling him “pathetic” for the way he always crawls back to her.
“I’m in love with Fitz. I don’t love you Jake. I love him,” she told Jake, saying she’ll “always choose” the president over him. She then stormed out fighting back tears, and it was clear to Fitz, who was in attendance as the best man, that everything was not “fine.” The show ended with Jake and Vanessa exchanging vows. “I do,” he said, and they were pronounced “Mr. and Mrs. Jake Ballard.”